Egretta intermedia

General description: 

Medium, closer to Little than Great Egret; bill noticeably shorter, yellow; legs and toes black. Adult: Summer/ breeding: short breast plumes, long back plumes; bill black. Winter/non-breeding: bill yellow with blackish tip. It looks similar to the Great Egret, but is smaller, has a more rounded head and the orange bill is shorter and not so acute angled. The neck is about the same length as the body. In breeding plumage they have deep pink to red bill, blue-green facial skin and long breast plumes and long wing plumes extending beyond the tail.

Conservation status: 

Not Threatened.

Diagnostic description: 

Medium, closer to Little than Great Egret; bill noticeably shorter, yellow; legs and toes black. Adult: Summer/ breeding: short breast plumes, long back plumes; bill black. Winter/non-breeding: bill yellow with blackish tip. It looks similar to the Great Egret, but is smaller, has a more rounded head and the orange bill is shorter and not so acute angled. The neck is about the same length as the body. In breeding plumage they have deep pink to red bill, blue-green facial skin and long breast plumes and long wing plumes extending beyond the tail.

Behaviour: 

VOICE: A quiet bird. Described as a deep kroa-kr when taking off.

Size: 

68-71cm

Phylogeny: 

Taxonomy:

    Ardea intermedia Wagler, 1829, Java. Sometimes placed in monospecific genus Mesophoyx, or alternatively in Casmerodius; work on DNA indicates closer genetic link with Ardea than with Egretta. Three subspecies recognized. (source: Handbook of the Birds of World)
Distribution: 

Subspecies and Distribution:

    *brachyrhyncha (A. E. Brehm, 1854) - Africa S of Sahara. *intermedia (Wagler, 1829) - SE Asia and W Indonesia N to Japan. *plumifera (Gould, 1848) - E Indonesia to New Guinea and Australia.
Habitat: 

They prefer to hunt in freshwater (marshes, cultivated fields), but are also found in mangroves, mudflats, estuaries. They prefer to roost in reedbeds, but will also roost in mangroves.

Trophic strategy: 

Intermediate Egrets eat small fish, frogs and insect. They stalk for their prey on mud, grass or shallow water.

Reproduction: 

The nest is a small platform of sticks built in a tree overhanging the water. Lays 3-5 pale green eggs.